Why Distance Learning Gets You Up to Speed Faster

Barry Lenson

Welcome to the On-Ramp of Life:

Why Distance Learning Gets You Up to Speed Faster


Technology has a way of making your life better - whether you’re driving or learning.

Okay, let’s talk about driving first. If a European consortium called SARTRE has its way, drivers will be able to fall asleep at the wheels of their cars on the highway – safely – in about 10 years. They will be able to snore and drive because they will be part of “road trains” that let them cruise safely without any input from the driver.

Sound scary? Not necessarily so – the system is already being tested and evaluated.

The technology is actually pretty simple. Cars equipped with radio receivers fall in line behind a lead vehicle that is equipped with a radio transmitter. That lead vehicle controls the steering, speed and braking of the cars behind it.

To join the train you pull onto the on-ramp, join the convoy, and don’t do anything until you reach your exit, whereupon you take over the controls again and drive anywhere you want.

It might be kind of a stretch but to us, this technology has some similarities to the kind of distance learning courses we deliver. Okay, here’s why . . .
Simple, yet effective, technology is being used to improve very common needs: learning and driving.

The possibility of human error is minimized in both cases. A driver cannot crash into the car ahead, and a student cannot completely mess up a class because lessons and units can be repeated. There are safety nets in place.

Technology is freeing people to use their brains more effectively. Let’s face it, there is nothing particularly stimulating about driving on a highway hour after hour. Why do it, if you can read a book or listen to your radio instead? Similarly, why spend hours traipsing around a campus if you are a college student? Why move to a distant city, learn to live with a roommate, eat iffy cafeteria food – and deal with all the other expensive, time-wasting aspects of college life?

Learning online, like that robo-train, frees you to spend your time on activities that offer a higher payback.

Zoom zoom. Welcome to the on-ramp of life.

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